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3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews21

Hermitage

1025 Robson Street, #115
Vancouver, BC V6E4A9
Tel: (604) 689-3237
Neighbourhood: Downtown
  • Cuisine: French
  • Price: $$$$ ($45 or more)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • "Since its opening in 1988, The Hermitage has been a favourite of Vancouverites and visitors alike. Situated in an enclave away from the hustle and bustle of world famous Robson Street; it offers an elegant, but charmingly informal atmosphere that reflects the warmth and hospitality of provincial France."

    The Hermitage has received many awards as a result of the mix of tradition, knowledge and artistry that Hervé brings to his restaurant.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 21 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Snooty Waiter, yet Savoury Food
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 10:50pm [Dine in]

I've always wanted to try this restaurant and finally decided to come here for our date night. As soon as you walk into the cozy tucked away restaurant, you can smell the yummy aroma of whatever they are whipping up in the kitchen. That was really nice. But I was slightly taken aback when the host, who was also our waiter gave us a dirty look & then jokingly claimed that we did not have a reservation, even though we had made one weeks before. He thought he was funny, even when he located my name in the computer.

The food was good though, but pricey. You would really have to spend a lot of money there to fully enjoy the menu. We tried the Escargot (plain & tiny) , the Veal Chops (good sized & yummy) and the Sweetbread, which is definitely something different - it's actually the culinary name for the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) of the calf. Good flavours & unique texture.

Overall the ambiance is nice, and food okay, but terrible service. It's also in a bad location, tucked away on Robson Street in a dark corner. The metal barred windows totally throws people off, too.

I really wanted to like this place, but the snooty waiter ruined it. He was quite abrupt & rude. =(

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Not up to par
By Rasputin45 of Kitsilano, Vancouver (97 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:47am [Dine in]

As one of the more expensive restaurants I've been to in Vancouver, Hermitage is not worth the money. The ceasar salads, at 11 bucks a pop, were barely more than a plate of lettuce slathered in dressing similar to something you might get at White Spot. For the main dishes, the actual protein portion was cooked well but the sides were a total afterthought, some steamed veggies and an insipid circle of rice as a side, not intriguingly presented at all. We were not given a dessert menu and instead had to memorize a list from a heavily-accented chef. Unsurprisingly, the desserts were equally as blase as the rest of the meal. When there are restaurants like Seasons around that provide three times the service and food and location for less money, why go to old-school, non impressive places like this?

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A comfort food haven on trendy Robson
By doublemagnum of Coal Harbour (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 14, 2009 - 11:32pm [Dine in]

Amid all the preening and faux-chic of Robson Street, its nice to find a place to eat that serves up straightforward, reliable and tasty bistro fare in an environment that makes you feel cozy and warm.
Nope, Hermitage is not Vancouver's best French restaurant. It is certainly not Robson's trendiest eatery. But it is welcoming and unstuffy - the food is all about "comfort and joy".
If the room is "dated" as some reviewers have complained, then I'd say it is just true to its genre. The best meals I have had in Paris have been in places that haven't seen a coat of paint much less a makeover in 40 years. I find the room warm and sheltering. It's a place that you could happily waste a rainy afternoon if you had the luxury of that much spare time.
The wine list could be a bit more extensive, and less ostentatious. It's a silly vanity to list 2 vintages of Ch. Petrus at $2600+ a bottle... c'mon, who are you really kidding with that. Add another 8 or 10 decent, accessibly priced wines and the choices will come closer to matching the menu.

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Arrogant and Rude Owner
By Vancouverite888 of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, April 4, 2010 - 3:48pm [Dine in]

My girlfriend and I decided to go to Hermitage for a nice dinner because we have both seen it on Robson and we happened to have an Entertainment book coupon.

My girlfriend really wanted the foie gras, but it's an appetizer and the coupon is only valid on entrees, so she asked the waiter if she could substitute the appetizer as an entree (since it's $26), he said no, so she asked if they could make the foie gras into an entree. The waiter asked the owner and said yes and that they would basically make 2 foie gras for a entree, and she would have to pay for 2 foie gras ($52). She agreed to that since one entree would still be free.

The foie gras was very good and my black cod with crab tempura was also very good. I wasn't so impressed with the Crepe Suzette as the crepe did not taste fresh and the ice cream was completely melted, but the waiter was very nice and gave me an extra scoop of ice cream.

However when we received the bill the waiter apologized and said that we could not use the coupon because the 2 foie gras did not count as an entree. There was obviously a miscommunication between him and the owner. We didn't feel this was right, since if we were told that we couldn't use the coupon, my girlfriend would've ordered a different entree instead. So we asked to speak to the owner/manager. The owner said that the best he could do was take $15 off our bill. I argued that since the waiter promised us we could use the coupon with this arrangement that he should back up his waiter's promise, but he said that there was a miscommunication between the waiter and my girlfriend and that he was not there so he does not know what was said. He continued to refuse to allow us to use the coupon. I said, "Shouldn't the customer always be right? This is leaving a bad taste if our mouths, and I don't think we'll be coming back again." He then says, "Well, I've never seen you before in my 22 years here." It was my first time there, but he was implying that he doesn't care that I don't come back cause I haven't brought business to him before. Then I said that unfortunately I will have to write a bad review for his restaurant, he then said that people write all sorts of e-mails and reviews and that he didn't care...

Anyways, long story short, the waiter was nice enough to forfeit his tip so that in the end we paid about the same as if we had used the coupon. But I am just appalled by how the owner treated us. He was rude, arrogant, and obviously doesn't care about his customers. The waiter was very nice (his name is Barry).

It was Tuesday night, and we were the only customers from 6:30 til 7:30pm. We left at 9pm and only 2 more tables came after we arrived. They must really be hurting, hence the penny pinching, but still does not warrant the owner's behaviour.

I would definitley NOT recommend going there cause I don't want to support a man like this.

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A lovely sunday night dinner.
By grahamwilliams of New Westminster, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 11:51pm [Dine in]

After returning from Hermitage a few minutes ago I thought it best to chime in. The review I'd read for this restaurant had been mixed. My own experience confirms the positives and belies most of the negatives.

Hermitage is located in a nook off of Robson. Being greeted at the door and having your coat taken is always a nice touch. The table we were seated at had a view of the street and the patio.

The decor, contrary to reviews I have read, didn't feel dated. It feels like they've attempted to create a warm, provincial feeling - and in that they have succeeded. We were immediately presented with some canapés prior to ordering. While the menu isn't extensive, there's plenty of choice - and the wine list had plenty to offer for all tastes and budgets.

The appetizers, while expensive, were delicious. The entrees followed shortly after, and both the lamb and the beef tenderloin were delicious and served with vegetables that were a delight to the palate.

Dessert was interesting; the profiteroles were sumptuous, drizzled with chocolate and filled with delicious icecream. The Creme Brule was tasty, but the custard was a bit firm and the sugar was burnt around the edges. It was still mostly tasty though.

It should be clear that the service was positively fantastic. Very attentive, very personal, and quite charming. I will return again in the future.

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Oh Wow!
By dragondrea of Vancouver (46 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 2, 2007 - 4:07pm [Dine in]

I dined here last night with a group of 6 people. What a lovely evening! We were warmly greeted when entering the restaurant, seated, and offered apperatifs and cocktails. Menus and the wine list were all distributed. We were waited on by a fellow in his 40s or 50s--a professional server who was very elegant and polite. Wine was expertly poured, our meal was timed perfectly, and our server glided through the dining room, ready to help if needed.

It was so difficult to choose a meal. The food is all hearty classic French fare. In the end I chose the table d'hote; 3 courses for $36. Appetizer was a refreshing tomato and blue cheese salad, top sirloin for an entree, and profiteroles for dessert.

My meal was fantastic, as were the meals of my fellow diners. Everything was perfectly cooked (or chilled, in the case of the tomato salad) and very tasty. The meat had not an ounce of fat on it, meaning the entire piece was edible. The sauce was tangy and flavourful. The scalloped potatoes and roasted vegetables were delightful. The portion sizes were perfect.

For a warm, enjoyable, TASTY dining experience, definitely have a meal here.

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Disappointing
By rmcleans of vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 29, 2007 - 2:28pm [Dine in]

I ate at Hermitage last year for Dine Out and was very satisfied with both the food and the service. But when I went back this year, the food was not great and the service was absolutely horrible. The food was bland and nothing special. The server barely payed any attention to our table and when we asked for bread, he didn't tell us that there's a charge. This was such a disappointing night. I don't think I'll go there again.

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If nothing else, it was an experience.
By sybarite of New Westminster (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 5:03pm [Dine in]

I have been away from the Vancouver area for 25 years, but have extensive restaurant patron experience in many parts of the world.
For the last 10 months I have been exploring the restaurant scene here, some good, some not so good, none outstanding.
The worst restaurant experience outside fast food joints was the Hermitage restaurant. I was lead to believe by various Vancouver guides that is was an excellent French restaurant with great ambiance. Given the high prices, I expected something wonderful. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
After arriving on time to fulfill our reservation, my girl friend and I were seated in a booth, reminiscent of a White Spot. The ambience also could be compared to a White Spot, only smaller.
The cool temperature and the office type ceiling did nothing to enhance that.

My girl friend ordered the duck for $30.00 and I had the beef tenderloin for $35.00

The duck had a consistency like leather and very fat. Only 1/2 of it was barely edible. It came with a sauce and a few halves of potato in their skins including some pepper strips.

The steak was not bad, but not very warm. It came with the same accompaniments.
The waiter never came by to inquire about our meals until we were finished. Then we told him what we thought about our meals. He did not seem to care less. To the question why we did not get any bread, he replied that we should have asked.

Needless to say that we and anybody we know, won’t be going there anymore.

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Unique with authentic French cuisine
By JEL of Burnaby (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 3:56pm [Dine in]

Hermitage is in my top 10 restaurants in the city, mostly because I find it unique and consistently solid in terms of the food and the service. It is certainly in my top 5 for authentic French food.

The highs - The atmosphere is wonderful, like being in a warm French family's basement. Service was very good on the 5+ occasions I have been. Kir Royales are the best I have tasted anywhere (including Paris) because they appraently make their own cassis and get the mix perfect (unlike La Regalade's - a restaurant that I love otherwise). Steak tartar is amazing and served with perfect frites. Fish soup is wonderful and rich. The duck is simple and tasty. One of my most memorable dishes ever was a warm lentil salad here (unfortunately not on the regular menu).

The lows - none that I can really think of. I have always been treated well and have never had a disappointing dish. Perhaps a limited lower-end wine selection would trouble some.

Wonderful place. This one is on my regular yearly rotation, and sometimes gets a second or third visit when guests are in town.

Hermitage is in the Entertainment Book, and does not clip your card. A nice bonus.

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Awesome
By pocosunshine of port coquitlam (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 10:14am [Dine in]

My husband and I went here for Valentine's Day dinner. The only disappointment was that we couldn't order off the regular menu, but the special menu was great. We were not rushed in the least, even though there were other seatings after us. The staff were there when you needed them and were away when you didn't need them. The food was awesome! The Pheasant melted in my mouth and the scallops and prawns my husband had were wonderful.

We had a long conversation with Herve about wines and his family winery in France. Was nice to see a Chef/Owner out and about talking with the guests in the restaurant.

We are going back to try the regular menu and to also try some of the "Family" wines.

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Zaget was wrong
By sarlye of Kerrisdale (11 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 3:59pm [Dine in]

This was one of the most disappointing dining experience I ever had. We tried this restaurant as part of the Dine Out Vancouver event. For $35, it was not worth the time.

The Decor was dated and looked like an overstuffed family restaurant with lots of oak furniture.

The food was tasteless and bland.
For Appys; we had the Fisherman's Soup with Spciy Rouille [we got red colour soup, smells fishy with no sign of seafood and no taste at all and 2 dried piece of bread with a scoop of mustard on top] and Duck Rillettes / Pate with Gherkins [it was served on 2 piece of limp butter lettuce and looked like canned tuna with mayo and same dried pieces of bread]
For Main: Fillet of Snapper with Shrimp Mousse, Dill Butter Sauce [bland and the sauce was a runny white sauce with no taste]; Pork Tenderloain was palatable but the sauce was very subtle also.
For Dessert: Creme Caramel [only good thing]; and Souffle Glace with Cappucino Sauce [tastes like Baci ice cream]

Service: Twice the waiter almost dropped the plates on me, and most of the time, he was preoccupied with adjusting the thermostat. We asked for Hot Water and we were charged for it. [This was shocking to us for such a supposedly nice restaurant to charge you for plain boil water, we were also not inform of the charge until the bill came]

The place was not even busy, about 6 tables and we were rushed through our dinner from the moment we sat down to the time we left in 50 minutes.

I don't think this should be rated a Zaget choice restaurant, the service and food is way below par.

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Very pleasant staff, good food
By Caera of Main, Vancouver (30 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 12:15am [Dine in]

My friend and I went to this restaurant because we had the Entertainment Card for a two for one entree. Normally this is a bit above our price range, but with the coupon it was more affordable.

We had the fois gras which wasn't very appetizing. It was a bit runny and made the brioche underneath soggy. We were expecting something a bit more like pate, which may have been our error in misunderstanding the menu. I had the lobster with saturnes and grape cream sauce, which was fantastic. The sauce was rich and sweet and a perfect compliment to the lobster. The side vegetable, which I've never seen before (I'll have to research it) was very delicious.

We sat outside, and it was around 5 o'clock and still sunny (this was August) and very pleasant. We were the only two in the restaurant from what I could tell, and we had the full attention of the very professional and friendly wait staff. They were extremely attentive and we left a very large tip. The coolest thing was that the waiter purposely didn't mark the Entertainment Card, so we could come back again for a two for one if we like. And we probably will.

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Did not meet expectations
By localdiner of Surrey , BC (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 4:32pm [Dine in]

Attended with a group of four,service was good, despite not being told about a 3 course special, which we only discovered when he heard another diner mention it? Flavours were ok, but portion sizes, small. Some of the items that were served were a bit cold, not what we expected from a restaurant of this price point.Our general impression was that the restaurant is relying on their reputation, rather than ensuring quality and value is achieved.

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good food, feels like I went back in time
By onlytehbest of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 6, 2008 - 12:22am [Dine in]

Had dinner with friends and family. Service was good, we had to ask for the basics once then they were on top of it. Lobster Bisque, ok I love this stuff, but this was the saltiest I have ever had. The salt left my mouth feeling almost raw. ther est of the food was decent, nothing inventive. Meats were well prepared, cooked to order, sides were good, sauces were excelllent, but some found food over salted.

only major downside was the decor, I dont think it has ever been updated since it opened in 1988.

I would go back, but not any time soon.

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First Time French
By food_and_the_city of Port Coquitlam (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 11:40pm [Dine in]

Decided to go to dinner at the Hermitage on an Entertainment coupon on a Sunday evening. We were greated by a friendly waiter at the door and shown to a booth seat. We had been shopping all afternoon and I apreciated the soft and comfotable seat. There were many other tables with regular wooden seats.

We weren't really hungy so my wife and I skipped the appetizer and went straight to the main course. My wife had the pheasant and I the veal strip. I added a glass of red wine even though I was a little surprised at the price of $12, but it was a good tasting wine and I was satisfied. I should have asked the waiter to recommend something but did not.

My wife and I both thought the food was excellent, the sauce was perfectly fit to the taste of the meats on each plate and the portions were just right. We were so impressed with the main course we decided to have desert even though we started off not feeling that hungry. My wife had a lava cake (lots of chocolat) and I some sort of icecream cake with prailene flavour. Again it was awesome.

Give this place a try, I've certainly paid as much or more at other restaurants in Vancouver and been really let down.

Oh, by the way there was plenty of bread. I don't know why these other people had so much trouble with that.

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Delicious Every Time
By Crazing Art of Snohomish, WA (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 7:19pm [Dine in]

My husband and I go to the Hermitage every time we are in Vancouver, we even got engaged there. We love the beautifully prepared food and attentive waitstaff. My husband always pre-orders the Steak Tartare and Pommes with homemade mayonnaise, it is the best he has ever tasted. I love their charcuterie items the most. Our dining experience has always been top notch. I would highly recommend the Hermitage to all food lovers.

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Shady Business Practice
By babyrichie of vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 11:34pm [Dine in]

After this visit to Hermitage, I know why no one ever talks about this restaurant and why it's never on the radar as to good French restaurants. Honestly, it was my first and definitely my last time there, and the only reason why I'm not more put off by my experience is because I had a gift certificate. If it had been my own money I had wasted, I would definitely be a lot more disgruntled.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I decided to go there (this is his account but I'm writing the review because that's how put off I was by the whole experience) for our anniversary tonight. I hadn't heard great things about this restaurant and so didn't have the highest expectations for the place (which turned out to be a good thing). First off, don't expect anything from the ambiance - they seriously haven't updated the place in years. Maybe that's why there were more people sitting outside on the patio than inside! My bf and I decided to have the mussels as an appetizer and then I had the ribeye steak while he had the filet mignon. We then had the chocolate mousse cake and hazelnut ice cream cake for dessert.

Honestly, the food was average. The mussels were okay - nothing to write about. My bf liked his filet mignon, but my ribeye was just okay. Plus, the fries were a disappointment; honestly, if I order a steak frites in a French restaurant, I'm expecting the fries to be pretty good. Unfortunately, they were a bit soggy and very underwhelming. And just a heads-up, the portions here are small. Our chocolate mousse cake was almost laughable - it was honestly a sliver of a piece. And for $10, it was definitely not worth it.

Now, as for the shady part (as per my review title), it had to do with the bread (what is it with this restaurant and their bread problems?!). They didn't bring any out so we asked for some. They brought it out and then brought out another basket when we asked for some more. At the end of our meal, we look at our bill and see that they had charged us for our bread! We're like, umm, you never told us there was a charge, to which the condescending waiter replied, well, that's just standard practice. Really? Is it standard practice to a) charge for bread and b) not warn the customer of this beforehand? We've been to both Le Crocodile and Le Gavroche (which are far superior French restaurants, btw) and they have never charged us for bread. What bothered me more than the charge, though, was the waiter's attitude. He was being a total jerk about the whole thing and said, well, we never tell you the price on the specials but you still know there's a charge for them...?! What the freak kind of logic is that?! If you're interested in keeping customers, at least comp the bread or else respond in a more respectful manner.

Anyway, we shouldn't have been surprised by the waiter's response as the service was probably the worst part of our evening. They are very slow at Hermitage and our waiter never once asked us how everything was. He hardly ever came by our table at all. Let me just say this - you just don't feel like they value your business. Which is fine because we won't be giving them our business anymore anyway.

The name of this restaurant totally suits this place because only a hermit would ever want to eat there! Don't bother going out of your way to go there.

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delighted customer for many years
By Eveline of Marysville, USA (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, June 14, 2010 - 8:42am [Dine in]

While stumbling into the restaurant by accident (the location is a bit hidden) many years ago - the Hermitage, it's owner and staff have over the years become a solid fixture for us every time we visit Vancouver (several times per year). Food and atmosphere are delightful and the owner and staff (always the same people, which speaks very well for the restaurant as a place to work and how people are being treated as employees) have over time progressed into much cherished friends.
Whenever I have occasion I have highly recommended this place and will continue to do so.
And we are looking forward to many more years and meals at our favorite Vancouver lunch/dinner spot!
Thank you Herve, chefs and waitstaff !!!
Eveline

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wonderful meal, and the best service EVER
By curlygurl of Whistler, B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 4:17pm [Dine in]

We believe that to dine out well means more than just the quality of food served. Ambience and service matter a lot to us, because if you are paying top dollar to treat yourself, the total experience depends upon these factors. L'Hermitage did not disappoint. Upon entering, we were welcomed as old friends, even though we had never been there before. The decor was charming, rustic and elegant, not stuffy at all as I had anticipated. The menu contained all our favorite classic French dishes, and our orders were delicious and perfectly executed (escargots, mussels, sweetbreads and rack of lamb). Nothing daring or new, just the best of French comfort food, exactly what you want on a wintry night. The wine list was also impressive in its judicious selection, and some options were more reasonably priced than I've seen elsewhere. I can't say enough about this place. Other establishments may have more glitz and glamour, but none can match the Old World charm and grace of this winner.

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Should have been good but...
By mdyer of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 10:24pm [Dine in]

The ambiance is quite nice although a little noisy. My wife ordered the smoked salmon for an appetiser and it was quite good with some interesting garnishes. My lobster bisque however was too peppery and contained only a couple of shards of lobster. I like hot spicy food but the bisque was over the top peppery without much else as far as flavour.

When the waiter came to collect the plates he didn’t mention or see that I had hardly touched the bisque.

My wife main course was coquille St Jaques and saffron rice – quite nice but only three scallops, a couple of prawns and some. This serving was more like an appetiser than a main course.

I had the duck and it was very good. A good sized portion of duck with some nice vegetables, perhaps not a large serving but I was OK with it.

Overall I give the Hermitage a poor to average rating, the most telling point being not asking about the bisque when I hardly touched it. I could have complained but I usually don’t. I just don’t go back.

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